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What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a video conferencing tool that allows you to see and talk to people from your computer or phone. The New York State Court System is now conducting its virtual court appearances using Microsoft Teams. By using Teams, you will be able to join a virtual court appearance to see and talk with all the participants involved with your case. This may include the Judge, Court Clerk, attorneys, other parties on the case, etc.

What do I need to do to participate in a virtual court appearance using Teams?
To participate in a virtual court appearance using Teams you will need to do the following:

  1. Install the Teams app (it’s FREE!)
    You will need to install the Teams app on the device that you will be using to join the meeting. This device could be your phone, your computer, your tablet, etc.
  2. Test your audio and video
    If you are not comfortable with managing the sound and video on your device, you can test them prior to participating in your first virtual court appearance using Teams.
  3. Join the Teams meeting scheduled by the Court
    The Court will send you a link to join a Teams meeting for your virtual court appearance. You should understand what happens once you click the link.

Below are the instructions for how to do the 3 steps above. Click on the specific instructions for your particular device.

Instructions for a Computer (PC or Mac)

Instructions for iOS (iPhone or iPad)

Instructions for Android (Smartphones and Tablets)

What is expected of me while participating in a virtual court proceeding?
Please do your best to do the following while participating in your virtual appearance.

  • Turn on your camera, if you have one.
  • Try to have your smartphone, tablet, or computer plugged in during your appearance. Video uses a lot of battery.
  • Try to be somewhere quiet.
  • Mute your microphone when you are not speaking to reduce background noise.
  • Avoid typing or rustling papers when you are un-muted.
  • Use a headset if you can. It will make it easier for you to hear and for others to hear you.
  • Dress as if you were going to court in person.
  • Do not eat, drink, or chew gum during your appearance.
  • If your settings allow, blur your background to protect your privacy, (Older computers and some android devices do not have this ability.) If you are not able to blur your background, limit any personal items visible on screen to protect your privacy.
Examples of how you can blur your screen are below. These will vary, depending on your device.
 
    

What if I have questions?
For common questions and answers about Microsoft Teams virtual court appearances, read the NYS Courts Microsoft Teams Guide.